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Karen Nickoli named Alaska's Children's Miracle Network Champion for 2013

Karen returned home to Russian Mission after surviving leukemia

ANCHORAGE, AK - Ten-year-old Karen Nickoli has been chosen as the 2013 Alaska Champion in the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champions program. Karen spent more than a year at The Children's Hospital at Providence and finally returned home in March.

Life took an abrupt turn when Karen and her family received her diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Far from her Yup'ik Eskimo home in Russian Mission, Karen stayed at Providence Hickel House, a hospitality home in Anchorage funded in part by CMN Hospitals. She needed frequent blood and platelet transfusions and oral chemotherapy. Relatives sent subsistence foods like salmon and moose for Karen to eat when treatment made other foods taste bad. CMN Hospitals helped fund educators to keep Karen and her sisters caught up in school throughout the year.

Finally, around Thanksgiving 2012, Karen was in remission. She returned to her small village, where she was able to get back to her favorite pastime - catching caterpillars. She also enjoys fishing, being around animals, and snowmachining.

Every year, the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champions program identifies a child with a remarkable medical story from each state. These champions serve as ambassadors for the 17 million children treated at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals annually. The champions and their families will travel to Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C., in October to highlight the vital work taking place at children's hospitals around the country.

PHOTO CAPTION: Karen Nickoli, 10, has been chosen as the 2013 Alaska Champion in the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champions program. Karen spent more than a year at The Children's Hospital at Providence after a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She is now in remission and has returned to her home in Russian Mission. Photo courtesy of The Children's Hospital at Providence.

About The Children's Hospital at Providence
Located within Providence Alaska Medical Center, The Children's Hospital at Providence functions as a hospital within a hospital. The Children's Hospital is known for its outstanding Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Maternity Center. The 100-bed inpatient facility offers family-centered care in every area of pediatric medicine and on-site clinics, including neurological development, urology, endocrinology, orthopedics, genetics, cystic fibrosis, a subspecialty clinic and a center for special needs. For more information about the Children's Hospital please visit: alaska.providence.org<http://alaska.providence.org/>.

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